Man charged in woman’s overdose death held without bail

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP/WPRI) — A Providence man who prosecutors say killed a Cranston woman by selling her a fatal dose of a drug laced with the painkiller fentanyl was ordered held without bail Wednesday following a two-day hearing.

Aaron Andrade has pleaded not guilty to several charges in the death of Kristen Coutu of Cranston.

He’s accused of selling an illicit drug containing “nearly pure fentanyl” to Coutu, who was found unresponsive in her mother’s car in February 2014. The cause of death was ruled to be fentanyl intoxication.

Kristen Coutu (Providence Journal/Family Photo)
Kristen Coutu (Providence Journal/Family Photo)

Coutu’s mother took the stand Tuesday and said her daughter went to rehab. She says Coutu started dating a heroin user afterward thinking she could help him.

“She wanted to help him shake the heroin habit, and instead ended up getting hooked on heroin,” said Suzanne Coutu.

The night her daughter died, Coutu said she asked her how she looked before going out.

“Asked me how she looked, and I said beautiful as always,” she recalled.

Courtney Caligiuri contributed to this report.

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